An English singer, songwriter, and producer of introspective, soulful indie pop, Laurel Arnell-Cullen is better known as simply Laurel. After beginning to upload demos in 2012, her first official single was 2014's "Fire Breather," released on her own Next Time Records. Doubling down on her cinematic production style, Laurel's full-length debut, Dogviolet, arrived in 2018.
Raised near Southampton and based in London, Arnell-Cullen let it be known she wanted to be a singer at the age of five. Inspired by hearing Laura Marling at 13, she got a Spanish guitar and started learning how to play folk. She had already been writing songs, and booked local gigs with her own material as soon as a year later. Following high school, she studied business and music performance in Portsmouth for two years, during which time she started posting her songs online. In early 2013, she uploaded the home-recorded electro-pop demo "Blue Blood," which was discovered and shared by various music blogs. She then relocated to London, signed with a management company, and released her official debut single, "Fire Breather," on her own label, Next Time Records, in early 2014. The three-track EP To the Hills followed a few months later, and another EP, Holy Water, was issued in December of 2014. A mixtape called Allelopathy appeared in 2015, and Laurel signed with Counter Records for the EP Park, released in late 2016.
Having developed a more sophisticated sound by then, one that incorporated electric guitar, live drums, keyboards, and production touches tending toward the cinematic, her debut LP, Dogviolet, arrived via Counter Records in 2018. ~ Marcy Donelson